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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cottage stones


Several people have asked how I made the stones for my Red Door quilt.  I'll do my best to explain how I did it. I'm sure there are many ways to accomplish the same thing and you may look at what I did and think  "Well, if she had just done this instead it would have been much simpler!"
I sometimes make things harder than they need to be.  However, the end result is, I love the finished quilt!  And that is good enough for me.

I mentioned in my previous post that I used about six different batiks for the stones.  I took about a twelve inch square of each and matched them with a square of thin batting.  I took one square of batik and one square of batting, and placed the batting on the wrong side of the batik.  I took this to my machine and put a corner of the 'sandwich'(just 2 layers the batik and batting) under my presser foot with the needle down.  I lifted the foot a little and scrunched the fabric and batt all around the needle from the front and the side.  I put the foot back down keeping the fabric scrunched and began to meander my way over the bumps and valleys I had created.  I kept scrunching the fabric and sewing until the entire square was sewn.  You could do this with even bigger pieces at a time.  I have disc problems in my neck and manipulating fabric always makes me tighten those spots in my neck that I shouldn't tighten up, so shorter sewing times with breaks are best for me.  I had to repeat this process several times for each fabric.  

I'll back up a minute here because before I started to make the stones I made a pattern for my quilt.  I used my Tracer projector and made an outline drawing of the door and the stones from a photograph.  Here is a photo that shows my outline drawing with some of the stones placed on top.

I made a pattern for each stone individually from my larger pattern.  Did I mention this was a little time consuming.  I took my individual stone pattern and traced around the outside edge of it with a marker on top of the scrunched fabric.  I used a disappearing ink marker, but since you will be cutting along this line it doesn't matter too much what you use.  After tracing the outline, I took it back to my machine and sewed about an 1/8 inch inside the drawn line.  I just used a small zig-zag stitch.  I found it best to draw and sew all the stones on one of my scrunched fabrics before cutting any of them.  Otherwise you might lose some of your stitching that holds the hills and valleys in place. After they were all drawn and sewn for that block I cut them along or just inside the drawn line.  I placed them in the matching spot on my design board and kept repeating this process until I had them all complete.  They are almost finished in this photo, I just need to even out the edges a little.

Next I made my door.  I wanted it to tuck under the stones on the one side so it needed to be in place before the stones were added.  I made a couple of versions of the door before I decided I liked it and not sure if this is the final version. You can see I am now placing them on my background fabric.
Than I transferred the stones to the background fabric and just sewed, with a straight stitch this time, to attach them.  For a few of the larger stones I also sewed across along some of the scrunched lines. (Is this clear as mud)

For the final quilting, I sewed on the black fabric between the stones.  Hope this was helpful.
Have a creative day! Janet

7 comments:

Debra Svedberg said...

Fabulous tutorial!
And I know what you mean about feeling like you're doing things the long way...I'm always doing that, and sometimes people even say that to me: "Why didn't you just...?"
lol

Chris from NJ said...

What a great dimensional technique. You explained it well. I bet you are glad you took photos as you were doing it.

Pam said...

Love the tutorial. The quilt is beautiful. Love the stones.

LoieJ said...

Good explanation. I didn't realize until today that the picture enlarges when clicked on. And then that really helps. I like seeing new ways to accomplish something. Have you said anywhere just how big a stone is?

LoieJ said...

Good explanation. I didn't realize until today that the picture enlarges when clicked on. And then that really helps. I like seeing new ways to accomplish something. Have you said anywhere just how big a stone is?

MARIKA said...

Very good this technique .I like it the many freedoms are in your work .greeting Marika Hungary

Janet Hartje said...

Just wanted to say thanks for all of the kind comments from everyone. The sizes of the stones vary a lot. The whole quilt with the boarders is about 2.5' x 3.5'.